… and shadows in Oaxaca in March.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. — Abraham Lincoln
Shadow owes its birth to light. — John Gay
Posted in Flora, Gardens, Travel & Tourism, tagged Abraham Lincoln quote, bicycles, bougainvilla, bougainvillea, John Gay quote, Mexico, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, shadows on March 15, 2017| 8 Comments »
Posted in Culture, Flora, Gardens, Travel & Tourism, tagged bougainvillea, Casa Colonial, flowers, Mexico, mural, music, musicians, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, popular travel destinations on March 1, 2017| 3 Comments »
Sunday afternoon at Casa Colonial in Oaxaca: Sun filtering through the trees of a lush tropical garden, the smell of hamburgers and hotdogs grilling on a barbecue, a friendly bartender, and a great jazz combo. What more could anyone want?
Thank you to the Casa’s owner Jane Robison and manager Amado Bolaños. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday.
Yesterday, as my BFF and I sat outside drinking our morning coffee…
…we were joined on the terrace. Nothing like that first sip of the day!
A plumeria (aka, frangipani) blossoms on the terrace…
During this, the middle of a very dry, dry season, a perfumed promise of primavera.
Posted in Celebrations, Churches, Creativity, Culture, Exhibitions, Gardens, Travel & Tourism, tagged Alejandro Santiago, æbleskiver (Danish pancakes), calaveras, cemetery, Christmas Eve, Cuba, Flamboyant trees, Guelaguetza desfile, hearts, Mexico, New Year's Eve, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, Santo Domingo de Guzmán, sculptures, weather on December 31, 2016| 11 Comments »
It was a year I’m sure many would like to forget; it was disastrous for the planet AND her inhabitants. For me, on this last day of the year, I choose to reflect on the beauty, joy, love, and new adventures that I was fortunate to experience.
I welcomed 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area at my childhood home, now my younger son’s domicile. Thus on New Year’s Day, I made æbleskiver (Danish pancakes) using my great grandmother’s recipe and her, well over 100 year old, cast iron pan.
Back in Oaxaca, February brought a community Día de Amor y Amistad fiesta in my apartment complex. Have I mentioned? I have wonderful neighbors!
March was unseasonably hot, but the blue skies and flamboyant trees beginning to bloom made it bearable.
April took me to Cuba, a lifelong dream finally realized. It was more fascinating, confounding, and fabulous than I had ever expected.
By May, the flamboyant trees had leafed out and were in full bloom — and we needed it, as the hot-hot-hot temperatures continued.
A calavera on the streets of Oaxaca in June? Absolutely! She knows no season.
And, then there was July! So much to see and do, this month warrants three images.
The rainy season was in full force in August and I loved standing on my terrace watching the storms approach, though sometimes they didn’t make it all the way to Casita Colibrí. Microclimates!
September brought the second major feast day in Teotitlán del Valle: Fiesta a la Natividad de la Virgen María.
I was in California from late September to early October, and when I returned there was a new exhibition in the courtyard of the Museo de Arte Prehispánico de México Rufino Tamayo.
For the past couple of years, one of my destinations on November 1 has been the panteón in Tlacolula de Matamoros; its beauty and tranquility always take my breath away.
Later in November, I spent a delightful Thanksgiving with family and friends on the east coast of the USA, but returned to spend Christmas in Oaxaca for the first time in three years. It was just as joyous and colorful as I remembered!
These three are the future; let’s vow to do all we can to give them a better world than the 2016 one that is departing.
Many thanks to you all; I am constantly amazed and gratified that you choose to stop by. Wishing all the best for you, your loved ones, and your communities in 2017. ¡Feliz año nuevo a tod@s!
Posted in Animals, Casita Colibrí, Flora, Gardens, Science & Nature, Travel & Tourism, tagged African Tulip trees, agave, birds, Casita Colibrí, caterpillars, flowers, garden, Mexico, Oaxaca, orb weaver spiders, photographs, photos on December 17, 2016| 12 Comments »
Last week, a friend of mine in California challenged me to post a nature photo every day for seven days on Facebook. I had participated in one of these challenges nine months before, posting mostly photos from the countryside. This time, I decided to acknowledge the gifts that Mother Nature keeps surprising me with in my rooftop terrace garden.
And, in the spirit of the season, they are my gifts to you. Hope you like!
The view from Casita Colibrí after the election in el norte…
Bird On The Wire
by Leonard Cohen
Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.
Like a baby, stillborn,
like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
and by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?”
Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Rest in peace, Leonard Cohen. Thank you for your poetry, your music, your voice, and your grace.
A pause in the Día de Muertos coverage for breaking news!!!
A few months ago, I replaced the small lightweight plastic table, that came with my apartment, with a larger dark green/black wrought iron one. A couple of weeks ago, I exchanged the faded blue umbrella for a dark green one. However, blue plastic chairs continued to surround the table — dark green chairs remained elusive, until today. All was now color-coordinated perfection.
Then, late this afternoon the winds came, the umbrella took flight, and disappeared
Up, up, and away over the terrace it sailed, landing on the rooftop of the apartment compound bodega. Thank goodness it didn’t leave the property!
However, there is good news — with the aid of an extension ladder, long pole, and another gust of wind, my neighbor D freed it from the tree limb and its new rooftop perch. Intact, it slowly glided down to the driveway. It is now back, standing in the center of the table — albeit collapsed and fastened with a bungee cord. Great minds are working on ways to better secure it.
Posted in Animals, Casita Colibrí, Flora, Gardens, Science & Nature, tagged bees, flowers, garden, Mexico, Night Blooming Cereus, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, pollination on July 21, 2016| 2 Comments »
This morning I was greeted by several flowers on my night blooming cereus, with one acting as a rich playground and dining room for a guest in the garden — a very welcome honey bee.
I have no idea how long she had wiggled and wallowed before I saw her. I stood mesmerized for a minute or two before running into my apartment to get a camera.
I continued to be intrigued by her industry and pleasure for another five (plus) minutes before returning inside — letting her continue in privacy, while I turned to my morning cup of coffee and bowl of cereal.
She may have been nourishing her body, but she was also nourishing my soul.
My entry in Cee’s photo challenge.
Posted in Casita Colibrí, Flora, Gardens, Science & Nature, Travel & Tourism, tagged carrion plant, garden, green bottle flies, Mexico, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, Stapelia gigantia, succulents on July 4, 2016| 4 Comments »
Five or six months ago, I took multiple cuttings from my Stapelia gigantia and planted them in six planter boxes on top of my terrace wall. I used them to fill in around agave that I’d planted in the middle of each box.
Once the rains came, they began spreading their prehistoric-looking tentacles…
And, the flowers have exploded in their carrion-smelling bloom, attracting green bottle flies, as designed.
I think my stinky stapelia like their new homes!
Posted in Casita Colibrí, Flora, Gardens, Travel & Tourism, tagged flowers, garden, Mexico, Night Blooming Cereus, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, popular travel destinations on June 1, 2016| 2 Comments »
I can’t resist. It’s another day and another night blooming cereus flower greeted the dawn. Ready for her close-up, she insisted on a profile…
¡Muy buenos días a todos!
A couple of mornings ago, as I made my terrace rounds wishing my plants a “muy buenos días,” I found my cereus had bloomed during the night. A gift from the garden…
By noon it was a shriveled skeleton of itself. The flower may have been fleeting, but it was a lasting gift of beauty amid the unrelenting, energy-sapping heat and the daily ordeal of navigating Oaxaca’s blockades, marches, and a zócalo covered in tents. In the two days since, my step has been a little lighter and my tolerance to life’s circumstantial complexities a little higher.
Sitting in the morning sun…
Watching my feathered friends find my new fountain.